..only to break my heart.
The Avs let Forsberg go.
It's hard to make judgments under the new salary system. Everything seems all discombobulated now. But, on face, this seems like a ridiculously stupid move, and more importantly, it hurts my feelings.
What the Avs offered him was pretty pitiful. $13.5 over 4 years. Maybe it's all they could afford, though the numbers don't seem to add up to me. It's true that Philly signed him for more than they could afford, and are now having to make room.
The injury-prone justification? Whatever. Injuries happen. The thing about Forsberg is, they don't affect his play. I remember him being out for large portions of the regular season --- and those were often rough times --- but when he showed up again, around playoff time, he was plenty good. Seeing as how the Avs replaced him with a 17-year veteran, I don't think the injury-prone excuse holds much water.
It's a sad day, I don't know what else to say. I was going to recap some favorite moments, but I'm not in the mood. I guess I'll probably get to watch him play more than I did last season, since the Flyers visit Boston a lot more than the Avs do.
I spent some time drowning my sorrows and watching some highlights. These are by no means a best-of, they're just some examples of his normal play in normal games. How is he always just in the right place at the right time?
- Game 56 2004 vs. St. Louis: Start with a goal on Osgood, then see Forsberg streak from the bench to the other side of the ice to get the puck, then drive the net, setting up a goal. Also see a damn fine save by Aebischer and hear a phrase which, in all of Avalanche history, may only have ever been spoken once ("Good play by Martin Skoula!").
- Game 44 vs. Dallas: Forsberg with 2 goals, making Turco look pretty bad. How does a guy who draws so much attention still manage to be so damn sneaky sometimes? And hear the far more common phrase, "Skoula clears it around, but not out of the zone."
- Game 43 vs. Anaheim: Forsberg masterminds two plays, one of which is the Hockey Encylopedia entry for "Give and Go".
- Game 42 vs Chicago: At the end, Forsberg sets up the overtime winner. No one else skates and protects the puck like this, either behind the net or in the slot. So patient. Pay no attention to the Avs goaltending.
I'll have to go digging for some real jawdropping playoff highlights..